Table of contents

Status:
Bill 21 received royal assent on May 31, 2022
Bill 80 received royal assent on December 8, 2021
Bill 62 received royal assent on June 21, 2021
Bill 48 received royal assent on December 9, 2020
Bill 22 received royal assent on July 23, 2020
Bill 25 received royal assent on December 5, 2019
Ministry responsible: Treasury Board and Finance

Overview

We are committed to cutting red tape by one-third to reduce costs and regulatory burden for businesses, while making it easier for Albertans to access government programs and services. Legislation changes will help us achieve these commitments.

The Red Tape Reduction Statutes Amendment Act, 2022, (formerly Bill 21) amends 15 pieces of legislation across 9 different ministries, supporting economic growth and job creation while saving Albertans time and money.

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021 (No. 2) (formerly Bill 80) received royal assent on December 8, 2021 and updates 9 legislation items within the following themes: economic growth and job creation, smart regulation, and improving service delivery.

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021 (formerly Bill 62) received royal assent on June 21, 2021 and updates 8 sets of legislation within the following themes: economic growth and job creation, smart regulation, improving service delivery, digital transformation, and harmonization (the ability for jurisdictions to work better together).

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2020 (No. 2) (formerly Bill 48) received royal assent on December 9, 2020. Amendments were made to 12 pieces of legislation to cut red tape and make it easier for businesses to operate, including speeding up approval times and clarifying rules. Amendments also focused on digital transformation, creating jurisdictional harmonization and improving service delivery.

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2020 (formerly Bill 22) received royal assent on July 23, 2020. Amendments were made to 14 pieces of legislation to promote job creation and support economic growth, expedite government approvals, eliminate outdated requirements, and reduce the administrative burden on municipalities.

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2019 (formerly Bill 25) came into force December 5, 2019. It included changes to 11 pieces of legislation to reduce red tape, streamline overburdened processes and eliminate outdated rules.

Key changes: Bill 21

Red Tape Reduction Statutes Amendment Act, 2022 (formerly Bill 21) received royal assent on May 31, 2022. Amendments will come into force on various dates. The act updates the following legislation:

  • Municipal Government Act

    • Enables municipalities to establish an intermunicipal business licence, supporting economic development by making it easier for mobile businesses to operate across the province and reducing the costs and administration involved in applying for licences in each municipality.
    • Provides the Minister with a more flexible range of actions to enforce municipal compliance with ministerial directives resulting from a viability review, allowing the Department and municipalities to work collaboratively to address outstanding compliance issues.
    • Allows the Minister to approve Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) bylaws and amendments, helping to expedite the approval time and ensuring economic development in revitalization areas can begin sooner.
    • Make sections pertaining to governance, taxation and assessment more readable and easier to understand, particularly benefitting smaller municipalities that may have less administrative capacity than the larger cities.
  • Highway Development and Protection Act

    • Allows the Minister to approve the designation of new freeways and new freeway access locations, while not taking away Cabinet’s ability to have oversight of freeway decisions it considers significant.
    • Expedites the designation of new freeways and the approval of new freeway access locations, allowing economic development projects that depend on these approvals to proceed sooner.
    • Repeals the City Transportation Act and the Public Highways Development Act.
    • Provides legislative clarity and prevents stakeholders from inadvertently relying on out-of-date legislation.
  • Rural Utilities Act

    • Allows Rural Electrification Associations (REAs) to purchase other REAs (i.e., those that are less economically viable).
    • Allows rural utility associations to expand their scope of service to include additional lines of business.
    • Supports long-term sustainability of rural utilities, facilitates rural economic development and diversification.
  • Surveys Act

    • Allows the use of modern surveying methods, which eliminate costs associated with purchasing physical monuments for surveying purposes, and create surveyed boundaries that can potentially never be lost.
    • Allows surveyors up to one year (instead of 90 days) to register a survey plan with Alberta Land Titles, reducing the need for extension requests and other administration, and lowering costs for surveyors and clients.
    • Removes the requirement for municipalities to use general funds for at least part of re-survey expenses, allowing municipalities the flexibility of paying the entire expense through the imposition of a special tax on the property owners who are involved.
    • Updates the description of the Director of Survey’s responsibilities in the Act to better align with current practice, addressing stakeholder recommendations for greater legislative clarity.
  • Cooperatives Act

    • Reduces the ratio of members of a cooperative’s board of directors required to be Canadian residents from a majority to 25%, and completely removes Canadian residency requirements for managing directors.
    • Supports investment by encouraging cooperatives to locate in Alberta, allowing them to choose the most qualified candidates regardless of where they live, while still ensuring local representation.
    • Removes outdated, redundant or overly prescriptive requirements and updates language to allow cooperatives to use virtual meetings, electronic voting and modern communication methods, saving organizations time and money.
    • Harmonizes requirements within the Act with other provincial and federal corporate registry legislation, ensuring consistency and clarity for stakeholders.
  • Railway (Alberta) Act

    • Allows operators of a heritage railway to apply to the Railway Administrator to operate under an alternate set of rules than those currently prescribed in the Heritage Railway Regulation.
    • Facilitates an outcome-based approach to regulating Alberta’s heritage railway operators, who no longer have to follow the more prescriptive operating requirements required for industrial railways, saving operators time and money spent on complying with these requirements.
    • Allows safety officers to carry out inspections and issue administrative penalties to ensure heritage railway operators comply with the approved alternate rules and continue to operate safely.
  • Pharmacy and Drug Act

    • Authorizes the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) to create and enforce standards of practice that address specific areas of pharmacy operations, instead of requiring this to be addressed through government regulation.
    • Allows the Minister of Health to approve changes in the ACP’s council regulations, allowing for a shorter approval process while ensuring consistency in council and other health profession colleges’ council regulations, once Bill 46: the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 (No.2) is proclaimed.
    • Complements amendments made in Bill 46: the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 (No.2) and Bill 65: the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2021, allowing government to be more flexible in its oversight of pharmacies and more responsive to changes in the healthcare environment (i.e., natural disasters, pandemics, drug shortages).
  • Provincial Parks Act and Public Lands Act

    • Allows the ministry to develop and publish legally enforceable standards, directives, practices, codes, guidelines, objectives or other rules, through incorporating them by reference into regulation.
    • Supports an outcome-based approach to managing activities on Crown land by allowing the development of locally specific rules and moving away from the 'one-size-fits-all' approach in regulation.
    • Eliminates the need for Albertans who use Crown lands for business or recreation to comply with restrictive or onerous requirements where such requirements are not necessary.
    • Provides government with a much quicker way to respond to any changes in local circumstances than amending a regulation.
  • Animal Health Act

    • Removes unnecessary duplication between the Animal Health Act and the Reportable and Notifiable Diseases Regulation by removing the time requirement of 24 hours for reporting the presence or suspected presence of a reportable or notifiable disease in an animal from the Act, while keeping it in the Regulation.
    • Permits any method of reporting animal diseases as approved by the Minister, saving time for animal owners and veterinarian clinics by allowing reports to be made through more efficient, digital reporting methods, such as email.
  • Residential Tenancies Act

    • Allows any manner of delivering security deposits that is agreed to in writing by the landlord and tenant, giving landlords and tenants the flexibility to use electronic methods of returning security deposits and associated documents.
    • Supports the use of digital solutions, eliminating potential costs and delays associated with traditional methods of delivery in person or by mail.
  • Local Authorities Election Act

    • Requires municipalities and school boards to ensure that personal information (such as addresses and contact information) of candidates and donors is redacted from candidate disclosure statements before they are made public.
  • Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act

    • Clarifies the right of all foster parents to appeal government’s decision to cancel or modify the terms of a residential facility licence.
    • Removes the one-year term for a residential facility licence from the Act and allows a longer term to be set in regulation for facilities in good standing, removing the administrative burden of annual renewals.
    • Allows department staff to spend less time processing licence renewal applications, and more time working with facilities that need help to improve compliance, resulting in increased safety for children in care.
  • Education Act

    • Enables the creation of regulation respecting Early Childhood Services (ECS) programs and private schools to strengthen financial control of accredited funded private schools and private ECS operators, and improve governance and accountability, to ensure public dollars are used appropriately.
    • Enables Alberta Education to reduce oversight of private sources of revenue for these providers, and eliminate the collection of unnecessary financial data.
    • Exempts small ECS operators who receive $250,000 or less from Alberta Education from certain reporting requirements, reducing administrative burden for smaller operators who are at low risk of improper spending and who may struggle to meet additional requirements due to limited resources.
    • Authorizes the Minister to set sanctions for non-compliance and clearer rules related to governance and financial practices, helping avoid the costly and time-consuming investigations Alberta Education currently conducts.
    • Extends the Minister of Education’s authority to approve spending of reserve funds by school boards from September 1, 2022 to September 1, 2023, providing Alberta school boards more time to spend their reserves in a responsible manner before the department introduces reserve caps.
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act

    • Expressly allows the Minister to appoint an Administrator of the Act, resulting in greater legislative clarity and ensuring legislation aligns with current practice.
    • Enables the Administrator to delegate duties and powers under the Act to department staff, removing the Administrator from handling routine administrative matters and resulting in a quicker and more efficient review and approval process for claims brought forward by Albertans injured by uninsured or unknown drivers.

Key changes: Bill 80

Most amendments of the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021 (No. 2) (formerly Bill 80) received royal assent on December 8, 2021, while others will come into force upon proclamation. The act updates the following legislation:

  • Income and Employment Supports Act

    Ensure adult learners applying for financial assistance for programs starting April 1, 2022 or later are assessed under the Student Financial Assistance Act and can benefit from new, simplified eligibility criteria, including streamlined application processes and reduced barriers for Indigenous students and sponsored immigrants.

  • Mines and Minerals Act

    Ensure Crown mineral agreements are responsibly managed by enabling a faster and more efficient way to replace designated representatives.

  • Alberta Health Care Insurance Act

    Consolidate Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan rules in one piece of legislation to modernize language and ensure greater legislative clarity for industry and the public.

  • Alberta Human Rights Amendment Act

    Help Albertans protect their rights by modernizing Alberta Human Rights Commission processes to allow complaints to be addressed more quickly, reduce backlogs and make tribunal hearings more accessible.

  • Public Service Act

    Formalize a practice already in place, clarifying that deputy heads can delegate their day-to-day human resource duties to designated supervisory and management positions in a department, improving efficiency.

  • Credit Union Act

    Enable more efficient regulation of Alberta’s credit union system by transferring oversight of Alberta Central to the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation.

  • Loan and Trust Corporations Act

    Enable government to adjust oversight of loan and trust corporations as the risk associated with the use of new financial instruments (such as cryptocurrencies) evolves.

  • Insurance Act (Insurance Intermediaries)

    • Delegates authority to Alberta Insurance Council and Accreditation Committee industry oversight bodies to set fees for examinations, licensing, and continuing education courses and providers.
    • A check and balance system remains in regulation, and no fees can be established or changed without the Minister’s prior approval.
  • Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Amendment Act

    • Promote economic growth by enabling municipalities to create entertainment districts - designated public areas where adults may responsibly consume alcohol, helping revitalize communities, promote tourism and support local businesses.
    • Allow made-at-home beer, wine and cider to be served at private non-sale special events, making sure Albertans can enjoy homemade drinks at weddings or family reunions.
    • Support licensed cannabis retailers to grow their businesses by entering the online cannabis market.

Key changes: Bill 62

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021 (formerly Bill 62) received royal assent on June 17, 2021 and will come into force upon proclamation. The act updates the following legislation:

  • Securities Act and Business Corporations Act

    • Improve existing protections for investors.
    • Enable companies to raise capital more efficiently in Alberta.
    • Allow for continued modernization of Alberta’s securities laws, and ensure they line up with other provinces.
  • Alberta Utilities Commission Act

    • Enable government to set timelines, if necessary, that would improve the Alberta Utilities Commission approval processes, such as approvals of transmission and distribution tariffs and approvals of new power plants.
    • Support economic growth by providing more predictability and certainty to utilities operators and job creators looking to invest in natural gas, wind or solar power generation.
  • Family Property Act

    • Replace references to repealed wills and succession legislation with references to the Wills and Succession Act, to be applied retroactively to February 1, 2012.
    • Ensure Albertans do not have to spend unnecessary time and money on legal costs and bringing claims to court to determine who has the right to the property of a deceased spouse or partner.
  • Fatal Accidents Act

    • Allow easy online access to the report that reviews the amounts of bereavement damages caused by fatal accidents by posting it on a government website.
  • Builders’ Lien Act

    • Clarify prompt payment rules for public-private partnerships (P3s).
    • Change adjudication decisions from final and binding to interim and binding.
    • Allow prompt payment rules to be extended to professional consultants, such as engineers and architects.
    • Permit electronic sharing of the Certificate of Substantial Performance in addition to posting notices on the job site.
  • Real Estate Act

    • Clarify the criteria, terms and election processes for the Real Estate Council of Alberta and Industry Councils.
  • Travel Alberta Act

    • Expand Travel Alberta's mandate, giving the agency a more active role, working directly with communities, business and entrepreneurs to develop new tourism destinations, products and experiences.
  • Employment Standards Code

    • Add flexibility in how often an employee’s daily hours of work must be recorded to reduce time for employers and employees.

Key changes: Bill 48

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2020 (No. 2) (formerly Bill 48) received royal assent on December 9, 2020 and came into force on June 2, 2021. The act updates or repeals the following legislation:

  • Municipal Government Act

    • Eliminates the ability of municipalities larger than 15,000 citizens to determine their own subdivision and development timelines.
    • Enables the Land and Property Rights Tribunal, which will assume the role of the Municipal Government Board to hear permit appeals associated with decisions of provincial regulators.
    • Modifies the rules around municipal reserves to bring certainty to the amount of land developers are required to set aside for municipalities.
    • Ensures unrelated seniors can live together.
  • Land and Property Rights Tribunal Act

    • Establishes the New Land and Property Rights Tribunal Act to legislatively combine 4 boards (Municipal Government Board, New Home Buyer Protection Board, Land Compensation Board, Surface Rights Board) into a single public agency.
    • Repeals related provisions in the 4 corresponding acts.
  • New Home Buyer Protection Act

    • Removes the requirement for builders to have a Building Assessment Report completed for condominium projects. A Building Assessment Report provides an overview of the common property, inspections, building occupants, and identifies deficiencies or defects in the building.
  • Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act

    • Streamlines adoption disclosure provisions related to the Post-Adoptions Registry as part of a larger strategy to reduce red tape in adoptions processes.
    • Supports the release of more personal information to adoptees about additional individuals, such as siblings and extended family members.
    • Enables adoptees to receive clearer information with fewer redactions.
    • Eliminates the need for 2 separate sections in the act for pre- and post-2005 adoption disclosure.
  • Land Titles Act

    • Creates a pre-registration queue to improve efficiency at the Land Titles Office. A client in the queue could address any deficiencies in their application without moving to the back of the queue.
  • Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act

    • Makes legislative changes to enable the review of all professional regulatory organizations to reduce unnecessary government oversight.
    • Redefines the minimum criteria for the registration of professional regulatory organizations.
    • Introduces “protection of public safety” as another registration criterion in addition to “protection of public interest.”
  • Historical Resources Act

    • Rescinds the Registered Historic Resource designation, which has not been used for over a decade. This designation does not meaningfully protect properties and is associated with funding programs no longer in effect.
  • Alberta Centennial Medal Act

    • Rescinds eligibility and nomination provisions for centennial medals no longer required without disestablishing the roughly 8,000 medals already awarded.
  • Animal Health Act

    • Removes the requirement to have a Qualification Certificate holder at Authorized Medicine Sales Outlets, as it is no longer applicable.
  • Post-Secondary Learning Act

    • Repeals an outdated requirement that a university must be notified of an unclaimed, deceased body so that it can be used for study or research.
    • Amends the Fatality Inquiries Act to reflect this change and ensure legislative alignment.
  • Maintenance Enforcement Act

    • Repeals a section of the act implying that the Maintenance Enforcement program is “opt-out” when it is actually “opt-in.”
    • Repeals a redundant section of the act relating to the process for child support recipients applying for a garnishment order. This process is already included in the Civil Enforcement Act.
  • Wills and Succession Act

    • Allows Albertans to make non-insurance beneficiary designations electronically, similar to beneficiary designations for insurance products.

Key changes: Bill 22

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2020 (formerly Bill 22) received royal assent on July 23, 2020 and will come into force on various dates. The act updates the following legislation:

  • Oil Sands Conservation Act

    • Remove legislative requirement for certain oil sands scheme approvals to receive Cabinet approval.
  • Mines and Minerals Act

    • Remove the requirement that the minister must receive authorization from the Lieutenant Governor in Council prior to entering into a contract or agreement in connection with certain matters outlined in the act.
  • Marketing of Agricultural Products Act

    • Transfer authority for making plan regulations and plebiscites from the Lieutenant Governor in Council to Agriculture and Forestry.
    • Establish authority for agriculture marketing boards and commissions to develop bylaws, and for marketing councils to issue directives.
  • Companies Act

    • Eliminate non-profit board of directors residency requirements, aligning with other provinces.
    • Align non-profit reporting requirements with for-profit requirements.
    • Eliminate requirement for non-profits to publish some information in the Alberta Gazette and/or newspapers.
  • Partnership Act

    • Simplify the registration process for limited partnerships by eliminating requirements that are overly-prescriptive, outdated or no longer in keeping with current registry processes.
  • Vital Statistics Act

    • Repeal requirement for yearly vital statistics annual reports to be tabled in the legislature. Service Alberta will release this information online.
  • Business Corporations Act

    • Eliminate corporate board of directors residency requirements, aligning with other provinces.
  • Recreation Development Act

    • Repeal Act as it is redundant and outdated.
  • Surface Rights Act

    • Increase the damage claim limit the Surface Rights Board can address to reduce burden on courts, speed up the government approval process for applications for amended Right of Entry Orders, and expedite the processing of compensation applications to the Surface Rights Board.
  • Public Lands Act

    • Allow Canadian residents, not just Albertans, to be eligible for public land and provincial park grazing dispositions, and obtain grazing permits in forest reserves.
  • Energy Efficiency Alberta Act

    • Repeal the Act and dissolve Energy Efficiency Alberta as an agency to complete governments transition to the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system.
  • Wills and Succession Act

    • Amendments to allow a representative of a mentally incapacitated plan/policy owner to preserve the same beneficiary when their policy/plan changes.
  • Municipal Government Act

    • Reduce provincial government oversight of Regional Service Commissions (RSCs), making it easier for municipalities to establish and oversee RSCs.
    • Eliminate the requirement for the Municipal Government Board to create digital recordings or transcripts of non-assessment hearings, aligning with the requirements for assessment hearings and reducing administrative burden.
    • Align councillor expense allowances with recently amended federal income tax rules.
  • Safety Codes Act

    • Streamline the existing enforcement process by eliminating redundant or administratively burdensome requirements, and associated expense, for municipalities and the courts.
    • Provide clarity around which contraventions warrant administrative penalties.

Key changes: Bill 25

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2019 (formerly Bill 25) came into force upon receiving royal assent on December 5, 2019. The act updated or repealed the following legislation:

  • Forest Act

    • Changed the delegation of approving entry into Forest Management Agreements from an Order in Council to a Ministerial Order.
  • Persons with Developmental Disabilities Foundation Act

    • Repealed as the foundation has not existed since 2002 and its functions are no longer part of the Persons with Development Disabilities program.
  • Glenbow-Alberta Institute Act

    • Removed a provision that prescribes the management and display of items in the Glenbow Institute’s collection.
  • Small Power Research and Development Act

    • Repealed as all contracts under this act have concluded and the Small Scale Generation Regulation already supports market-based electricity generation from renewable and alternative energy sources.
  • Hydro and Electric Energy Act

    • Modernized to remove unnecessary requirements for small scale and low-impact hydroelectric development.
  • Health Professionals Act

    • Dissolve the Health Professions Advisory Board, which has not been active since 2012, as recommended by the Public Agency Secretariat as part of the review of agencies, boards and commissions.
  • Alberta Health Care Insurance Act

    • Repealed outdated references to “chiropractic services” under the “basic health services,” as these have not been covered since 2009.
  • Human Tissue and Organ Donation Act

    • Changed legal requirements so it’s easier to provide valid consent through the online registry.
  • MSI Foundation Act

    • Updated the board’s appointment to streamline recruitment, repealed an approval requirement to preserve the foundation’s autonomy, modernized for efficiencies and clarified the legislation.
  • Municipal Government Act

    • Streamlined provisions that hampered administrative efficiencies for municipalities.
  • Safety Codes Act

    • Enabled the adoption of upcoming building and fire code updates, which allow for taller wood constructions, by repealing a legislative provision that restricts wood construction to 6 stories in height.

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